Sobering night at range

Discussion in 'Training & Safety' started by partdeux, Apr 6, 2012.

  1. partdeux

    partdeux Well-Known Member

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    Our local club has a .22 plate shoot every Friday night. Lot of shooters, lot of activity, everybody on guard for safety. We've even taken to splitting the roles of the person running the shoot from someone recording the results.

    Before a shooter is allowed to step away from the line, magazine out, bolt locked open.

    New shooters get lots of help and attention with safety... But one of the club's more experienced top shooters managed to shoot himself tonight. Especially scary for me, because I was sitting approximately 5' away from him, with the muzzle loosely pointed in my direction. Luckily, his leg provided the backstop.

    Yes this is the same club where the young boy dropped a slide of a gun while it was pointed straight at me a couple of weeks ago...

    Back to to our experienced shooter. The person running the event double checked the slide was locked open. Even my wife said she saw it was open... BUT, nobody checked the magazine was out. He was carrying a sweatshirt, his .22, several magazines, and a medicine bottle (that's a concern of mine). Pure speculation on my part, the magazine wasn't empty, he fumbled with all the crap in his arms, slide got released, and his match grade trigger needed to be breathed on and it released the hammer.

    2 RN's and an EMT shooting with us. The .22 passed through his medicine bottle, the sweatshirt, his pants and landed in his leg. Even tho it was somewhat in a dangerous area, it apparently did not hit an artery.

    EMS can not come in until LEO ensures the room is clear. He walks in and says, "are there any firearms here?" LOL Most but not all were all ready put away, we confirmed any that were still out were completely cleared.

    Like I said, def a sobering night. Club needs to take a step back and review the safety procedures, especially with so much activity going on.
     
  2. RufusTFirefly

    RufusTFirefly New Member

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    Coming from an aviation/pilot background... I can offer this:

    When any activity involves the potential loss of life or limb, PROCEDURES have to be in place, not just rules.
    You can't simply rely on people's good faith and common sense to follow the rules.

    If you want to help ensure that necessary steps or procedures are complied with, it helps to have a checklist of sorts,
    and to enunciate those steps as you do them. In other words, if the range would encourage (or even require) their members to [for example]
    turn to another range partner as they're getting ready to leave their lane, and say "Magazine out"... "Bolt open" while showing
    said firearm's empty magazine well and open bolt to the range partner. The second person verifies, and acts as a backup for the actions of the first.

    All that said, yes, I do understand that accidents sometimes will, and do happen no matter what. But you can adopt methods and procedures that stack the deck in your favor.

    Rufus
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2012

  3. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    i believe incidents like this will happen from time to time. they shouldn't but they will. carelessness and complaincency happen. sometimes we go through the motions, because we have done it so many times. maybe as gun owners, we need to take a step back, and go back to the basics and review them. as Rufus said, not just rules, but procedures. even though my range is on my property, and usually it is only me there shooting, i still act as if there were other people around and practice safety.
     
  4. partdeux

    partdeux Well-Known Member

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    And your aviation background should also have taught you that most accidents are a chain of events, and it's really important to recognize the chain of events happening and stop it cold.

    This was exactly that, and entire chain that went south. As I play back the entire situation in my head and look at each of the events, each trigger by itself would have probably been ok, but in sequence, not so much.

    Question for the safety experts, because most everybody does this, me included.

    As we finish or get bumped out of competition, the slide is closed on the firearm before putting it back into the carry case. This puts the firearm in a potentially dangerous status. This is typically done at the portable table behind the firing line.
     
  5. RufusTFirefly

    RufusTFirefly New Member

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    partdeux: You're absolutely correct! Yes, usually if ANY of the links in the chain are broken, the accident/incident would likely not have occurred. The trick is to have a safety mindset or culture that is always on the lookout for those links, and be able to recognize when a dangerous trend is happening. Everybody on the range should also be a safety officer, and have the authority to say "STOP!"

    Rufus
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2012
  6. partdeux

    partdeux Well-Known Member

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    It's really easy to look back on the events and say should have done something... Even now, things happened so quickly, and I had actually turned away not understanding the potential danger. I think back, hearing the firearm discharge, muffled as it was, and not putting together that was the wrong time to hearing a bang. It wasn't until he stumbled right next to me that I begin to understand WTH had just happened. Because of who it was, made it even more surreal. Complacency has no business around firearms :(
     
  7. Rick1967

    Rick1967 Well-Known Member

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    I have started shooting IDPA quite a lot lately. The range rules for IDPA are the same at every event. There is a safety officer with the shooter at all times. When the shooter is done shooting the safety officer asks, "Are you done shooting?" If the response is "Yes" The shooter is told to "empty and clear." That is when the mag is dropped and the slide is locked to the rear. Then the Officer looks to see that the magazine is not in the gun and that the chember is empty. The next comand is "Slide Forward". The shooter lets the slide close. Then the order "Hammer Down" is given. This is the last chence to have an accident because the trigger is actually pulled and the gun attemped to be fired. Then the order "Holster" is given. The entire time this is going on the muzzle is pointed at the backstop. We have never had an accident at the club where I shoot.
     
  8. orangello

    orangello New Member

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    Some "retraining meetings" and a review of procedures for such a crowded event might help, but i would have to have a picture of the leg with wound blown up and printed on large paper to put on the backstop area & maybe a few small ones around the bench & tables, at least for a while.

    This is one part of the reason i like to shoot solo or with no more than a couple of friends and on private land. I'm not sure my or my friends' safety measures are as good as they should be, so it is easier for us to watch each other when there aren't very many of us.

    That said, a buddy of mine almost was about to chamber the first round on MY SKS when we informed him the boresight was still hanging out the end of the barrel. :rolleyes: I'm waiting on that guy to shoot himself in the foot; he has already had two ND's that i know of, one in a moving car (now has holey door) & one that scared the bejesus out of the meter reader. We are all hoping the boy learned something from his recent national guard training and will be reinforced at his monthly drill.
     
  9. partdeux

    partdeux Well-Known Member

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    I really like that!
     
  10. mountainman13

    mountainman13 New Member

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    I personally would count that as strike two towards maybe I should find a new place to shoot. I realize accidents happen etc. But after a certain number of accidents its time to consider other options before you catch a bullet.
     
  11. ScottA

    ScottA FAA licensed bugsmasher Lifetime Supporter

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    That's the whole point of analyzing accidents... to go back and figure out what you could have done differently.
     
  12. RufusTFirefly

    RufusTFirefly New Member

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    ...and to implement changes to policy/procedure that prevent/mitigate the bad thing from ever happening again...
     
  13. sarge_257

    sarge_257 New Member

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    safety

    I have had exactly 2 accidental discharges in my life. The first one was at the range and we were all clearing our handguns per the range masters commands. I dropped the magazine into my hand and laid it on the bench. I then pulled the slide back and then pointed the pistol at the ground and pulled the trigger. BANG The bullet went into the ground in front of me and about one foot from my toes. What happened??? The near as I can figure out is the cartridge did not extract. But I have always pointed any gun down range or towards the ground when I am dropping the hammer. You better believe that I check the chamber now besides dropping the magazine.

    The second AD I still have not figured out. Son Trent and I were at the range most of the day. We were shooting military rifles, from AR15's to Garands and Springfield 03's. When we were ready to leave we cleared all rifles and that included looking down the loading port and putting our little finger in the chamber. when we got home we put the guns away in my walk- in vault and I closed all the bolts before putting them on the rack. As I closed each rifle I looked in the open bolt and assured myself that there was no rounds in it. I closed the bolt on a Springfield 03 and pulled the trigger to let the main spring down. BOOM The bullet went through the steel roof of the vault through a steel heat duct through the floor in the hall way and through the wall that went into our bedroom. It was angling at about a 45deg. It hit something in the wall and then it hit one of my ties on a rack. That turned it and it went up though the front wall of my closet and into the ceiling of our bedroom. When I recovered from the shock I rushed up stairs to see if anyone was hit. Lt. Linda showed me where the bullet came through the floor and I followed it's path to the hole in the ceiling. Checking inside my closet I could see the hanger and my ties on the floor. Picking it up I couldn't believe my eyes. The bullet had hit my NRA tie clip and that was what turned it to the vertical direction (also destroyed the tie clasp) If it hadn't been for the NRA that bullet would have put a hole through every shirt and pair of pants in my closet. Other than holes in floors and walls every thing in the house escaped safely. My son and I went down to the Vault and checked the rifle and sure enough there was a fired cartidge in the chamber. How it got there is still a puzzle to both of us. Because we both had checked the rifles at the range and I had checked each one as I put them away.???????
    As for the AD at your range I can see it was caused not only by not checking the magazine and removing it but no one should be carring anything in their hands and a firearm too.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2012
  14. ZeusEcho

    ZeusEcho Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Hello partdeux-

    Is your range a private club or is your club just using someone else's range?

    Are there SO's from your club or the range there?

    Sounds like your range needs more SO's and to Rufus and Rick's points procedures should be followed from SO's instructions and verification to clear the weapons, not just everyone's trust.

    I also started shooting IDPA this year and feel much safer there than I do at most ranges (even with all of the "activity") because of the procedures mandated that an SO is present with the shooter at a all times and verifies the weapon is clear with the hammer down before being re-holstered.
     
  15. partdeux

    partdeux Well-Known Member

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    Private club, and I have no idea if there's any formal range officers. I'm new enough to firearms in general to know I have seen some issues, but not knowledgeable enough to have the correct answers.
     
  16. ZeusEcho

    ZeusEcho Member Lifetime Supporter

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    I'm not that familiar with shooting in private clubs either other than my IDPA club which has strict enforcement of safety by Safety Officers (SO's).

    I would think any private club would also want to use SO's (can just be the experienced club memebers) to enforce the club's documented safety procedures?
     
  17. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    in regards to what some of the other members have said to impliment changes, maybe look into some very responsible members of the club to be dedicated range officers. maybe this is the problem, that everyone is assuming everyone else is being safe.

    with two different occurences happening at the same club, i would be highly concerned about safety as there seems to be some type of failure here. one nothing happened, one now has left someone shot in the leg. the next one if there aren't some type of changes made and quickly could leave someone hurt much worse or dead.

    as Rufus pointed out, not just rules to be followed, but set in place procedures and make sure everyone adheres to them. if these informal shooting meets are held every friday night, then a safety meeting and going through a set of procedures should be done before the first shot is ever fired.
     
  18. chasbo00

    chasbo00 New Member

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    Here is what a local club uses for rules for it's public bowling pin shoot:

    “Firearm Safety is Priority One”

    (1) Your firearm needs to be in your holster or carrying case unloaded with magazine removed.

    (2) There will be no handling of firearms behind the firing line or in the parking lot area.

    (3) When called, you will come to the firing line and only then with directions from the safety officers/match personnel will you remove your firearm from the holster or carrying case and place it on the bench.

    (4) You are allowed to load your magazines behind the firing line and it is suggested that you have two magazines for the match.

    Anyone that is found not complying with 1, 2 & 3 above will be asked to leave the range and club property.

    Key above is no firearm handling behind the firing line and all firearms must be cased or holstered.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2012
  19. 7point62

    7point62 Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    This range sounds like a real clusterf*ck to me. Too many people, too much crap going on, everybody trying to watch everybody else but nobody watching themselves. If I were the O&O I'd think about cutting membership down to a manageable level and beefing up range safety/supervision. I might lose a little money now but it's better then losing my shirt in a lawsuit.
     
  20. partdeux

    partdeux Well-Known Member

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    We were unable to attend last week due to family issues.

    This week, it was made very clear that we were persona non grata and it was suggested we never come back. Apparently making me the false flag makes them feel better.